If you’re leading a church or ministry and are involved in a media outreach – social media, website, video, or broadcast radio or TV, the question always comes up: “What should I name the media ministry?” Should it be the same name as the church or main ministry? Should it be named for the speaker or leader? Should it be something else? Whatever situation you’re in, there are 4 ways to think when it comes to naming a media ministry:
1 – Even though many begin in a church, very few name it after the church because that name only has meaning locally. If you’re thinking about future growth, once the media ministry grows beyond the local area, naming it after the church doesn’t help the marketing. That’s why Joel Osteen’s TV program isn’t called “Lakewood Church” or Jack Graham’s media ministry isn’t “Prestonwood.” We know that’s where it’s produced and they do mention their work there, but there’s little point in naming the program after the local church if your goal is national or international impact.
2 – The second approach is a unique ministry name like “PowerPoint” (Jack Graham) or “Kingdom Connection” (Jentezen Franklin) or “Daily Hope” (Rick Warren). The BEST thing about this is it’s easier to eventually pass the baton to a new leader. Once the original pastor or teacher retires, since it’s not centered on his or her name, it’s easier to make a transition. A few years ago, we helped a terrific TV ministry in Milwaukee do this with the name “Time of Grace.” When the original speaker turned it over, it was much easier to transition to a new generation teacher.
3 – The third option is naming it after the pastor, teacher, or speaker. The BEST thing about this option is online searching. After all, as you would agree, outside the local area, most people search for “Jentezen Franklin,” not “Kingdom Connection” or “Free Chapel.” So when people search through Google or the TV listings, 95% will be searching for a pastor or speaker’s name rather than the name of the ministry. This is the reason Joyce Meyer transitioned from “Enjoying Everyday Life” (yes – the actual name of the media ministry) to making “Joyce Meyer” the primary name. Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, and others are good examples of this approach.
The CHALLENGING thing about this option is succession. We’ve seen this with the difficult transitions many national media ministries have had to new leaders over the last decade or so.
4 – The FOURTH option is my personal recommendation – combine #2 and #3. Create a name for the media outreach, but add the pastor’s name. That way, we have the best of both – it will help people searching for the program, capitalize on personal name recognition, but partnered with a ministry name will help in the future during a leadership transition. Years ago, when I started consulting with Jack Graham, the media ministry was simply “PowerPoint.” Not only was it confusing with the Microsoft software, but it had no real marketability for Jack. So we kept the name “PowerPoint” but prioritized Jack’s name – so it’s now “Jack Graham and PowerPoint” and the URL is jackgraham.org.
Now the question is – which choice feels appropriate for you?